IceHogs Tuesday: Two Points Are Better Than None

Brandon Bollig played a key part in Sunday’s contest. (Photo credit: Kim Wrona)

The IceHogs entered week two still in search of their first victory of 2012-13 and this week provided three opportunities to earn it. Two of the three chances were on home ice as well.

Friday, October 19 at PeoriaThe IceHogs found themselves in Peoria for the third game of the 2012-13 season and it got off to an exciting start. Off of the opening faceoff and four seconds in, IceHogs forward Brandon Bollig and Rivermen forward Anthony Peluso dropped the gloves. It was obviously a planned fight as both players didn’t have their chinstraps on their helmets in place before the puck was dropped. Peluso seemingly got the best of Bollig in the bout. Forward Peter LeBlanc got the IceHogs on the board first at 1:57 of the period as he sent a backhanded shot from the slot sailing past the sprawled out Rivs netminder Jake Allen. Rivs forward Jaden Schwartz had a chance to tie the game up while Peoria was on a power play as he sent a rolling shot from the slot up high, but IceHogs goalie Carter Hutton was able to fight it off. Not long after that power play expired, Rivs defenseman Ian Cole blasted Hogs center Brandon Pirri with a clean hit at center ice and Pirri went down, shaken up. The 5-foot-11 LeBlanc jumped in right away to protect his teammate and fought the 6-foot-1 Cole.  Jimmy Hayes almost made it 2-0 Rockford close to the end of the period. He let a one time shot fly from Allen’s right side, but the big goaltender was able to come up with a huge save.

Hutton came up equally as big in the second period as he came across his crease to make a glove save and rob Derek Nesbitt of a goal from the right circle. The Hogs then had a huge opportunity at 2:47 of the second period to give themselves a two goal lead as Evgeny Grachev received a double minor for high sticking Hogs rookie defenseman Adam Clendening. Pirri had one of the better chances for Rockford on that power play as he sent a rocket from the high slot at Allen, who was able to shoulder it down. Clendening giveth and he taketh away. With 2:24 remaining on the power play, the former Boston University Terrier couldn’t control the puck at the Rivs’ blue line and Adam Cracknell came up with it. Clendening went to stop him, but ended up interfering with him and got tagged with a penalty for it, making it 4-on-4 and leaving the Hogs with only 24 more seconds of power play time once he returned from the penalty box. At 12:40, T.J. Hensick beat Hutton with a quick and sick shot from the slot to tie the game at one for Peoria. There was a defensive breakdown by the Hogs on the play as they left the ever dangerous forward all alone in the slot. Less than four minutes after that, Schwartz gave Peoria the lead as he fired one home from the right hashmarks. Once again, they left an extremely dangerous player uncovered, and it came back to bite them—in the same period no less.

Schwartz almost scored his second of the night early on in the third period while the Rivs were shorthanded. Clendening coughed the puck up at the blue line and Schwartz hopped all over it and got in on a breakaway. Hutton stood tall though and made the pad save. Things continued to go the Rivs’ way in the third period as defenseman Brett Ponich landed a couple of nasty punches on Hogs forward Rob Flick that left Flick a little stunned during their fight at 7:02. Cracknell had another great scoring chance for the Rivs after he danced around LeBlanc at the Hogs’ blue line and had a breakaway of his own, but once again, Hutton came up big for his team and made a huge save. Hogs forward Philippe Paradis drew a roughing penalty with 9:08 to go in the period, which gave the Hogs a huge opportunity to tie the game up at two late. They had some chances. Center Marcus Kruger was able to pick up a Hayes rebound and get a shot off. Allen then gave up a rebound and Jeremy Morin pounced on that in the slot, but his backhanded shot wasn’t able to find the back of the net. Peoria almost sealed the deal with under three to go as they had a two-on-one with only Hogs defenseman Ryan Stanton back, but Brandon Saad was able to make a diving comeback and beautifully deny the shot attempt to keep it at 2-1. But that’s how the game would end, as the Hogs dropped their third game of 2012-13 and still were looking for that first win.

-Peoria outshot Rockford 34-29.

-The IceHogs went 0-for-5 on the power play and the Rivermen went 0-for-6.

-Forwards Andrew Shaw and Martin St. Pierre led the team in shots on goal with four each.

-Defenseman Adam Clendening played in his first professional game on Friday night.

-The three stars were: 1 – Jaden Schwartz 2 – T.J. Hensick 3 – Jake Allen

-Some of the power play units used were:

Ben Smith – Martin St. Pierre – Marcus Kruger

Nick Leddy – Jeremy Morin

Brandon Saad – Brandon Pirri – Andrew Shaw

Brett Lebda – Adam Clendening

-Some of the penalty killers were:  Marcus Kruger, Jimmy Hayes, Nick Leddy, and Ryan Stanton; Ben Smith, Brandon Bollig, Dylan Olsen, and Shawn Lalonde; Peter LeBlanc, Philippe Paradis, Nick Leddy, and Ryan Stanton.

-The scratches were:  Brandon Svendsen (upper body), Ben Youds, Joe Lavin, Klas Dahlbeck, Kyle Beach, and Wade Brookbank (healthy).

-The lines and D pairs were:

Andrew Shaw – Brandon Pirri – Peter LeBlanc

Brandon Saad – Marcus Kruger – Jimmy Hayes

Ben Smith – Martin St. Pierre – Jeremy Morin

Brandon Bollig – Rob Flick – Philippe Paradis

Nick Leddy – Ryan Stanton

Dylan Olsen – Adam Clendening

Brett Lebda – Shawn Lalonde

Saturday, October 20 vs. Charlotte The IceHogs took the ice for their home opener Saturday in front of a loud BMO Harris Bank Center. The Hogs tested Charlotte netminder Dan Ellis early on as he had to make a blocker save on a heavy shot from winger Philippe Paradis. Paradis played his game from the outset—he was very physical and was on top of nearly every loose puck when he was out on the ice. Unfortunately, he took a penalty at 8:47 to give the Checkers a 5-on-3 power play as Ben Smith was already in the box (for the second time that night) for holding. The Hogs did a great job of killing it, and it included a beautiful Ryan Stanton poke check to break up a great scoring opportunity. Charlotte took a bench minor for too many men with 53 seconds left in the 5-on-4 power play to negate it and make it 4-on-4. At 14:20, Stanton was able to help the Hogs get on the board first in this contest. He sent a wrist shot towards the net from the top of the right circle. It trickled by Ellis and center Marcus Kruger was able to tap it over the goal line for his second goal of the 2012-13 season. The Hogs thought they made it 2-0 as Jeremy Morin fired one home from below the right hashmarks with Ellis down, but it turns out that Ellis was interfered with and the goal was called off. Had that marker stood, the Hogs would have had a lot of momentum going in their favor as the BMO was just rocking. But with it wiped out, the momentum that they had built up faded away a bit. Paradis made his presence felt again later on in the frame as he grabbed a rebound from out in front of the crease and got a good shot off, but Ellis was able to kick it away.

Hogs goalie Carter Hutton was once again strong in net. One of his better saves of the evening came when A.J. Jenks grabbed a Drayson Bowman rebound and looked like he was going to put it into an empty cage, but Hutton came across the crease and somehow got his arms out to knock it down and then cover it. On one of the next plays, Hutton stopped center Riley Nash who had a mini-breakaway. At 10:55, Hogs defenseman Nick Leddy took a penalty for hooking and Bowman cashed in 16 seconds into it. From the right circle, he sent a perfectly placed laser shot over Hutton’s shoulder where there wasn’t much room to begin with. With 54 seconds left in the period, Checkers defenseman Michal Jordan took a penalty for unsportsmanlike conduct after a scrum. While on that power play, Morin had a chance to get his goal back as he was all alone at the left point. He took his time waiting to shoot, and then when he did, his stick snapped and the horn buzzed to end the period. The Hogs still had a minute and six seconds left on the power play for the start of the third period, but they weren’t able to convert on that.

Bowman struck again for his second tally of the night at 3:18 to give the Checkers the 2-1 lead. He shoveled a shot past Hutton from out in front. Paradis was handed a five minute major and game misconduct for boarding at 5:40, which was a huge opportunity for the Checkers to extend their slim lead. They had an even bigger chance on that same power play as Shawn Lalonde took a seat in the penalty box for roughing after he jumped Checkers forward Chris Terry for hitting Kruger in open ice. It was a full two minutes of 5-on-3 power play time for the Checkers, but the Hogs were able to kill that off and the 27 more seconds of the major penalty. Stanton was a key to that kill as he came up with a huge shot block and clear during the 5-on-3. This third period featured a “line scrum”. No one really fought, but everyone was paired up. The most action came between Hogs center Martin St. Pierre and Checkers defenseman Rasmus Rissanen. Rissanen received four minutes for roughing and St. Pierre only got two, giving the Hogs a power play. Andrew Shaw had one of the best chances as he redirected a Leddy shot from the point, but Ellis was able to stop it. Jordan took another penalty with 1:11 to go, giving the Hogs another huge opportunity on the power play. With about a minute left, Hutton went to the bench for the sixth attacker, but the Hogs couldn’t score and dropped the contest 2-1 with that elusive first win still just slightly out of reach.

-Charlotte outshot Rockford 42-36.

-The Checkers went 1-for-6 on the power play and the Hogs went 0-for-6.

-Center Brandon Pirri fired a team high five shots on net.

-Defenseman Klas Dahlbeck played in his first professional game.

-The three stars were: 1 – Drayson Bowman 2 – Dan Ellis 3 – Carter Hutton

-Some of the power play units were:

Ben Smith – Martin St. Pierre – Marcus Kruger

Nick Leddy – Jeremy Morin

Jimmy Hayes – Brandon Pirri – Andrew Shaw

Peter LeBlanc – Adam Clendening

-Some of the penalty killers were:  Jimmy Hayes, Marcus Kruger, Shawn Lalonde, and Joe Lavin; Peter LeBlanc, Philippe Paradis, Nick Leddy, and Ryan Stanton; Andrew Shaw, Brandon Bollig, Joe Lavin, and Shawn Lalonde. One of the trios used on the five-on-three penalty kill was Marcus Kruger, Peter LeBlanc, and Ryan Stanton.

-The scratches were:  Brandon Svendsen (upper body), Dylan Olsen, Ben Youds, Kyle Beach, Brandon Saad, and Brett Lebda (healthy).

-The lines and D pairs were:

Philippe Paradis – Brandon Pirri – Peter LeBlanc

Andrew Shaw – Marcus Kruger – Brandon Bollig

Jimmy Hayes – Martin St. Pierre – Ben Smith

Jeremy Morin – Rob Flick – Wade Brookbank

Nick Leddy – Ryan Stanton

Joe Lavin – Adam Clendening

Klas Dahlbeck – Shawn Lalonde

Sunday, October 21 vs. Charlotte – The IceHogs welcomed the Checkers back into the BMO Harris Bank Center for the second night in a row and Jimmy Hayes almost got the home team on the board early on. He danced around Checkers forward Riley Nash to find himself one-on-one with Checkers netminder Justin Peters, but his shot went wide of the net. Justin Faulk saved the Checkers from being down a goal late in the first while Rockford was on a power play. Center Marcus Kruger was all alone on the left side of Peters with a wide open cage staring him in the face, but Faulk was able to get his stick on the puck headed for Kruger and clear it.

There was a scary moment for the Hogs early in the second period. Defenseman Ryan Stanton fell hard and awkwardly into the boards face first and couldn’t put any pressure on his right leg. He left the ice for the rest of the period, but did return in the third—to the relief of everyone in the Hogs organization and all the Hogs fans. On one of the plays right after Stanton’s incident, Martin St. Pierre scored with a shot from the slot to make it 1-0 Hogs. Another scary moment occurred for Rockford as defenseman Joe Lavin went down with an injury briefly. He was hunched over in pain, but stayed on the bench, and never missed a shift. Ben Smith almost made it 2-0 Rockford after his shot dinged off of the inside of the post. Defenseman Nick Leddy started the whole play with an end-to-end rush. A Faulk shot from the point appeared to have tied the game at one, but the goal was waved off due to goaltender interference; that’s the second straight night that has happened to one of these two teams. The end-to-end play started to pick up a bit closer to the middle of the period. Hogs goaltender Alec Richards made a huge save on a Tim Wallace tip, then Hogs forward Jeremy Morin found himself on a breakaway, but Peters made the save. At 7:55, Brandon Pirri gave Rockford a 2-0 lead with a shot from the high slot that went blocker side on Peters. The play was all started by defenseman Ben Youds, who was the one who gave Pirri the beautiful two-line pass. Checkers forward Chris Terry cut the lead to one after he threw a puck at the net from the left half wall and it got by Richards as it bounced in off of Leddy. Drayson Bowman then tied the game on a power play at 11:30 after he tipped in a Zac Dalpe shot from the point.

In the third period, Hayes was able to cash in after a sweet passing play that started with St. Pierre dishing to Peter LeBlanc. Hayes drove towards the net and LeBlanc fed him and Hayes was able to tap in the pass for his first goal of the 2012-13 season. Checkers forward Zach Boychuk tied the game on the power play with a shot from the bottom of the right circle and with Richards down at 10:45. Hayes struck again from the slot at 14:24 as he put a shot over Peters’ glove for his second tally of the night and to give the Hogs a 4-3 lead. Brandon Bollig added to the Hogs lead with less than three minutes left. His shot from the slot went five-hole on Peters. It’s a good thing Bollig scored that insurance goal because Dalpe scored with four seconds to go to cut the lead to one as he just threw a puck at the net from the left wall and it somehow found its way past Richards. But the IceHogs were able to hang on and earn their first victory of 2012-13 with a 5-4 win over Charlotte.

-Rockford outshot Charlotte 41-27.

-The Hogs went 1-6 on the power play and Charlotte went 2-4.

-Forward Peter LeBlanc led the Hogs with five shots on goal.

-Defenseman Joe Lavin was +3 on the night.

-It was a night of twos for the Hogs. To go along with Jimmy Hayes‘ two goals, defenseman Ben Youds registered two assists on the night and center Martin St. Pierre tallied two points (G, A).

-The three stars were: 1 – Jimmy Hayes 2 – Martin St. Pierre 3 – Ben Youds

-Some of the power play units used were:

Ben Smith – Martin St. Pierre – Marcus Kruger

Nick Leddy – Shawn Lalonde

Jeremy Morin – Brandon Pirri – Kyle Beach

Peter LeBlanc – Joe Lavin

-The scratches were:  Brandon Svendsen (upper body), Adam Clendening, Dylan Olsen, Brandon Saad, Brett Lebda, and Rob Flick (healthy).

-The lines and D pairs were:

Philippe Paradis – Brandon Pirri – Jeremy Morin

Andrew Shaw – Marcus Kruger – Brandon Bollig

Jimmy Hayes – Martin St. Pierre – Peter LeBlanc

Wade Brookbank – Ben Smith – Kyle Beach

Nick Leddy – Ryan Stanton

Joe Lavin – Ben Youds

Klas Dahlbeck – Shawn Lalonde

Roster Notes

Sunday, October 21 – Defenseman Ben Youds was loaned to the Toledo Walleye.

Tidbits

-WIFR is offering free tickets for Thursday night’s game against San Antonio. Read more about it here.

-Thursday night’s contest against San Antonio will be broadcasted on Sirius 207 and XM 92 for any travelers out there with Sirius/XM radio.

-After Sunday’s game against San Antonio, there will be a post game Skate and Trick-Or-Treat with the Hogs. Read more about it here.

-On Monday, October 29th, Hog Talk at District Bar and Grill features assistant coach Ben Simon, forward Brandon Bollig, and defenseman Joe Lavin.

Upcoming Games

Thursday, October 25 vs. San Antonio at 7:05 p.m.

Saturday, October 27 at Grand Rapids at 6:00 p.m.

Sunday, October 28 vs. San Antonio at 5:05 p.m.

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